Deep Dive: Sound Design Tutorial and Jam with Arturia MicroFreak

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We bring you the latest synth demo offering, Arturia’s MicroFreak Vocoder edition. Ahh, I love my job, I get to play with all the synths so that you don’t have to, although I hope you do as I want you to enjoy this gear as much as I do. 

I’m no stranger to the Freak, I’ve been reviewing and using this synth since the day Arturia released it a few years back so I can say with confidence that this synth is one of my favourites. I’m pretty sure this might be the first time I’ve used the vocoder on camera so there’s a bit of mucking around with that too considering the MicroFreak nice compact design.

If you already own the original release MicroFreak and want to make use of the vocoder, you can purchase these separately from Arturia and all you need to do is make sure it’s running the latest firmware.

Now, for my money when it comes to synths my favourites are those that can produce a variety of sounds. Yes, I want all my leads, pads, and basslines in one place, however, I’m also interested in digital tones, virtual analogue, percussive elements, effects and experimental timbres too. This is where the Microfreak excels as it packs 16 different synth engine types. You can literally create an entire track just from the sounds that this synth outputs. 

Some people have been frustrated with the strange, touch-capacitive keybed on the Freak which I can kind of understand if you’re a super keyboard player, however, it really does add a unique expressiveness and performative control surface that breeds new creative ideas. Don’t forget it’s also poly-aftertouch sensitive! If this still bugs you, just use a controller like the KeyStep Pro that I’m using in the video to play and sequence notes. 

In this video, I wanted to run through a few patch examples and a brief tutorial showing how I build a patch from scratch. The Drumbrute Impact and Korg Volca Sample provide the drums and groovy backing track with everything being sequenced via the KeyStep Pro. Check out the video below and let us know what you think. 

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